Marriage Is Like The Army – Quote

Marriage is like the Army; everyone complains, but you’d be surprised at the large number of people who re-enlist.

James Garner

Conflicted-The Survival Card Game Review

Recently, a friend said, “Hey I’ve got this new card game that looks like it would be a hoot.”  He handed me the deck, and briefly gave an explanation of the idea behind the game.  I thumbed through the deck, and replied, “Looks interesting, we’ll have to play some time.”  Several weeks later, we decided to do a cook out and give the game a try.  I purposefully did not look the game up online so as not to taint my view of it by reading promotional material or other reviews.  All I knew going in was that it was a called Conflicted-The Survival Card Game and that it presented moral dilemmas for the players to discuss.  Game night finally arrived, and Mrs. Grumpy G, or as I more affectionately call her “She Who Must Be Obeyed” arrived on target.  The ladies made small talk, while our host and I sat on the deck watching dinner cook.  After dinner and a few drinks, we retired to the front room and commenced the night’s journey.

Conflicted-The Survival Card Game Review – What you get:

The publisher describes the game as:

Conflicted: The Survival Card Game is a brand new way for survivalists to share their philosophies about prepping. It’s a game that can be a serious conversation between established prepper groups, or it can be a fun way to introduce someone to the concept of prepping.  Conflicted helps you show other preppers why you are prepping, why your reason for prepping matters, and what your survival philosophy is when choosing life vs your morals. 

The quality of the cards is good.  They are nice and thick.  On one side is the game’s logo and deck number (there are two decks currently out).  The other side contains a short blurb describing the moral dilemma you face.  The scenarios range from mundane to “who’s the sick puppy that came up with that one?”  The mundane would be something like, “You have advanced warning of a coming disaster, and only $200.  What would you purchase, before the panic buying of the masses kicks in.”  On the other end of the spectrum would be “A witch doctor shows up at your compound offering gold and ammo for the livers of the dead littering the landscape.  You are short on both.  Would you risk disease, and potential death collecting livers for him?”  For the record, that was probably my favorite card of the night, because the answer was so simple, at least to me.  I won the card by stating without hesitation that I would put a bullet between his eyes and feed him to the pigs.  That kind of evil can’t be dealt with in a civil manner.

The lettering and the scenario side of the cards is white, on a black background.  Font size is a little small so those with weaker eyes should bring reading glasses.  In fact, this is where my only complaint about the card deck itself comes in.  There are a pair of rules card in the deck as well.  Rules are quite simple.  Basically, one player draws a card, and reads the scenario to the player on their left.  The other players then grade the answer and award the reading player from 0 to 3 points, giving them a score for that round.  Play passes around the group, until everyone has had a turn; ending the current round.   Scores are tallied for each player, and after the end of 12 rounds the player with the highest score wins.  There are currently 2 decks available, the basic deck, and an add-on with more scenarios.  I gather from the publisher’s web site that more are in the works.  They even have a scenario submission link on their home page.

The Players:

Our group of players consisted of a mixed bag of personalities.  There were two men, and three women.  I and the other gent are both versed in survivalism/preparedness, even if we have slightly different approaches on the subject and are both military vets.  The women had all been exposed to the prepper world, even if they don’t have 100% buy in.  All three fall into the mamma bear category but they each brought their own world view to the table.  Mrs. Grumpy G is a bit conservative, even if she can’t quite express it at times and occasionally gets tripped up by the liberal media.  By the end of the night I realized that Mrs. Host was what I good naturedly calling a ‘stealth hippy’.  Her answers were just as often guided by her heart and need to be “good” as they were by reason.  Don’t interpret that as necessarily a bad thing (more on that later).   The last person, Auntie D could be considered a compassionate pragmatist giving equal weight to doing the “right” thing as what’s called for by the ‘reality’ of the scenarios.   After we all got settled, drinks were topped off, and the game started.

Conflicted Card GameThe Game:

We quickly modified the rules to have the active player pick a card and read the scenario to the group.  Everyone, in turn, explains how they would handle that particular situation.  The reader then decides who gave the best answer, in their eyes, and hands the card to that player.  Like I said, the scenarios run the gamut.  Some are straight up moral questions.  Some with easy answers, like the witch doctor one mentioned while others engender a more philosophical approach.  Others, are nuts and bolts questions like “What would you buy, and why?”  After a couple of revolutions around the table, it became apparent that each player’s outlook on life flavored their answers.  The men in our group tended to lean more towards swift justice, prudence, and violence of action when necessary.  When it came to matters of honor, we tended to value it more than safety.  When presented with enough evidence to suggest our sacrifice wouldn’t be in vain we were willing.  The women tended to answer more with their hearts; some more than others .  The only exception seemed to be with scenarios that involved children at which point the women became a vicious cut-throat bunch.   Also… apparently, neither Mr. Host or I have enough feminine hygiene products on hand for the end of the world.  We agreed to work on that.

Surprisingly…or maybe not… the women took an early lead in the game.  I honestly think they thought we were a couple of blood thirsty nut jobs at one point.  Mrs. Grumpy G, even after being exposed to me for 22 years gave me a couple of sideways looks as I answered questions.  That’s OK… she generated a couple of WTF moments for me as well.  As the game went on and we explained our answers more the men began to win more cards.  Some of the cards have a theological bent; like “Would you deny God, just to live?”  Interestingly, these cards created a lot of sidebar discussion.  It gave us a chance to discuss how Christians are supposed to deal with these questions compared to how we actually do it.  About midway through the game it dawned on me that what we were seeing was a rough psychological profile of each person developing.  It also demonstrated how the different personalities in a group can complement or contrast with each other.  I made a comment about that fact and Mr. Host said Conflicted was absolutely a tool that could be used in that manner.  As the game went on, I decided that if we were thrown into an cataclysmic end of the world situation, the group playing the game would probably work well.  Mr. Host and I would be the hammers when the problems were nails, and the women would be there to ensure that we didn’t decide that every problem was a nail.  They were compassionate but Mr. Host and I were able to get them to admit that sometimes… in trying times… very unsavory things must be done and that doing them doesn’t necessarily forfeit one’s humanity.

Conclusion:

The game was enjoyable and not solely based on the company.  The moral scenarios are thought provoking, and if you enjoy discussing ethics, you’ll get that in spades.  The nuts and bolts questions give a good opportunity to educate and pass on knowledge to the less seasoned members of the group.  Used as a tool for exploring group dynamics, I think the developers hit it out of the ball park.  I learned some stuff about others in the group that kind of surprised me, and I know I surprised a couple of the other players.  In the end, if you are inclined to this sort of thing, Conflicted is a game that lends itself to an enjoyable evening.  I’m not sure about the replay ability of it.  If you played with the same group more than a couple of times you would need to purchase the add-on decks, or bring new bodies in to the mix to keep it fresh.  There were some discussion in our gaming group about inviting a couple that are decidedly NOT of the survivalist strain to join a future game night.  One member thought it wouldn’t be a good idea, while I just think it would be a hoot to see how they handled it.   In the digital age, I think another great way to play this game would be hosted on-line.  All in all, I think I am going to invest in Conflicted-The Survival Card Game as I enjoyed it and would like to see how other friends would answer and react.

Addendum:

You may have noticed me mentioning drinks a couple of times.  In all honesty, the reviewable portion of our game ended about half way through.  As more drinks were poured certain members of the group (Mrs. Grumpy G and Mrs. Host) became more affected by the alcohol and their answers became a bit less inhibited and a great deal more hilarious.  By the end of the evening I think I could have convinced both of them that we needed to start our own head hunting mercenary group and rid the world of left handed midgets.  The suggestion was even made at some point that maybe we needed to larder up more alcohol, should TEOTWAWKI come.  I am not advocating drinking in excess.  I will say that if your group does drink, the dynamics of the game will change as the night wears on and the ‘dead soldiers’ stack up.  If you have some happy drunks in your midst, then Conflicted-The Survival Card Game can also be very funny.

Andrew’s Note:  Conflicted is a Prepography advertiser.

Love, Strength & Courage – Today’s Quote

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Lao Tzu

The Prepper Marriage

The principles for a healthy prepper marriage are similar to the principles for any other healthy marriage but with the tremendous added complication that the spouses may be at different stages in the mental and emotional aspects of their respective preparedness journeys.  In fact, in my experience it’s rare to find a prepper family where both both spouses are equally convinced of the need to prepare and consequently, equally committed to preparedness.  Even if you and your husband or wife aren’t on exactly the same preparedness page you can use the techniques described here to strengthen your marriage and move towards more harmony in both your marriage and your preparedness life.

Family and Community Support is one of the ten fundamentals of our Full Spectrum Preparednes Doctrine and there is no relationship more important to individual and family happiness and fulfillment than a healthy marriage.  If you and your spouse are mutually supportive and completely committed it also adds incalculable resilience to you both individually and to your family collectively.  Just like a strong faith in God is a ‘force multiplier,’ a strong sense of faith in your marriage and each other will give you the strength to better handle life’s adversities.

Experts tell us that achieving and maintaining a healthy marriage is a process and you can use the following principals both to keep a great prepper marriage great or improve a marriage in jeopardy.

Principals of A Health Prepper Marriage (more…)

The Prepper Compact

Where would you go if you had to leave your home on short notice due to a local, regional or larger disaster?  You probably have family and friends who would be happy to put you up for a few days or a week…but where could you go if you needed refuge for weeks, months, or longer?  Maybe you’ve even taken the steps necessary to build a Bug Out Bag, but where would you bug out too?  That’s where a Prepper Compact can help you.

A Prepper Compact is an agreement where one party agrees to take in the other party in the event of disaster or a bug out situation.  Compacts can be one way, reciprocal (between two parties) or mutual aid agreements among multiple parties.  The Prepper Compact clearly states the expectations and responsibilities of each party in advance so that adequate planning and preparation can take place.

At a minimum a Prepper Compact should specify: (more…)

No Substitute for Family – Today’s Quote

There are no adequate substitutes for father, mother, and children bound together in a loving commitment to nurture and protect.  No government, no matter how well-intentioned, can take the place of the family in the scheme of things.

President Gerald R. Ford

The Joy of Fatherhood – Today’s Quote

Nothing I’ve ever done has given me more joys and rewards than being a father to my children.

Bill Cosby

Family is Everything – Today’s Quote

Family is not an important thing.  It’s everything.

Michael J. Fox

Happy Mother’s Day – Today’s Quote

If I were hanged on the highest hill, Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine! I know whose love would follow me still Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

Rudyard Kipling

The Communist Easter Egg Hunt & Family Dynamics

As the economy gets worse and many families return to multi-generational households we must remember that successfully forming, blending and combining families and households requires more than love… it requires communication, cooperation, sensitivity and tolerance.  What does this have to do with a communist Easter egg hunt?

I’ve had a couple reminders  of these family-forming (and transforming) challenges recently thanks to my daughters.  If properly handled, the new blended or multi-generational (household) family offers many opportunities to meet or improve everyone’s situation and needs.

While my oldest daughter is considering moving her mother-in-law in and creating a multi-generational household with her new husband, my middle daughter is newly engaged and has already begun negotiations with her fiance on how they intend to raise their children…yeah… she’s much more mature than her dad was at that age.

I recently caught a snippet of conversation between two of my daughters that caught my ear… “they only do communist Easter egg hunts…”  As you can imagine this strange statement piqued my interest so I asked my daughter what a communist Easter egg hunt is…

(more…)

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